A decolonial (Re)turn to class in South African Biblical Scholarship
Front Cover of Old Testament Essays, Volume 34, Issue 2, 2021


African Biblical Scholarship
white culture
black African culture

How to Cite

West, G. (2021). A decolonial (Re)turn to class in South African Biblical Scholarship. Old Testament Essays, 34(2), 530–553. Retrieved from https://ote-journal.otwsa-otssa.org.za/index.php/journal/article/view/460


South African Black Theology of the 1960–1980s characterised its primary site of struggle as the racial capitalism of apartheid. Intersecting race and/as class has been a distinctively South African contribution to African biblical scholarship. Less common, but equally significant, is the intersection of culture and/as class. This article analyses this trajectory, reflecting on how three South African biblical scholars (Gunther Wittenberg, Makhosazana Nzimande and Hulisani Ramantswana) have discerned the need for the African decolonial project to recognise and recover the class divisions within a culture. A recurring cultural trope across the three scholars is their use of proverbs to discern class distinctions within culture. The works of each of these three scholars and their dialogue partners in South African Contextual Theology and South African Black Theology are interrogated for how they intersect notions of class and culture.



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